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5 skills every employer wants

May 14, 2015 08:30 IST

Are you able to take responsibilities, solve problems and deliver results?

A new book helps you prepare for the right job and aims to offer you just the right guidance. 

Your employer expects you to possess certain skills to be fit for the jobThe journey to your dream job is often riddled with challenges.

From drafting the right CV to acing the interview, the job search process demands candidates to possess a certain set of skills.

The book Winning the Right Job: A Blueprint to Acing the Interview by Pratibha Messner and Wolfgang Messner shows you how to approach a potential employer and answer questions on attitudes, life skills, ambition.

It aims to help you decide whether the role on offer is right for you and provides tips on making a gracious exit from your current and a powerful entry to the new organisations and expectations.

We bring you an excerpt from the book:


What qualities does a business seek in the people it hires?

Or in other words, what type of employees does the company need in order to succeed?

What are they looking for when hiring people?

A company should (and the emphasis is on 'should' as many companies don't) pose four questions to themselves:
• What kind of colleagues do we need in order to succeed?
• What does our company culture require from that person?
• What does our competitive challenge in the marketplace require from that person?
• And, what kind of person thrives and will eventually become a top contributor in our company?

Try to answer these questions for yourself, try to see how you align with the answers.

Even if the company or your interviewer partners haven't thought about it yet (and the chances are high that they haven't), if you position yourself correctly, they will immediately notice and say: 'Hey, that's the kind of person we need.'

Here are some general characteristics that many companies are looking for:

Book cover of Winning the Right Job: A Blueprint to Acing the InterviewSelf-awareness

The capability to look back at yourself, be in touch with yourself and learn from the past. Understand what you can do better.

Passion

Companies want people who put their heart and soul to their work, people who don't stop until they get something working.

Leadership

Organisations will want to know how you behave when ideal circumstances turn sour.

Are you able to take charge when the situation demands, follow when others know better?

Learning

It's rare that a person always has all the skills required for the job in hand.

Bridging the gap requires curiosity and a willingness to ask questions and learn.

Companies want people who are flexible, can change and grow with their employer.

Do you have the drive for lifelong learning, taking initiative to attend training programs or to further your education?

Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations for Google, reveals: "For every job though, the No 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it's not IQ, it's learning ability. It's the ability to process on the fly. It's the ability to pull together disparate bits of information."

Communication 

Many people confuse being able to talk with being able to communicate.

Companies don't need employees who like the sound of their own voice, they need leaders who can structure their message to the demands of the situation, people who listen and who are sensitive to their environment.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, a Nobel laureate and co-founder of the London School of Economics, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

"Let's take the example of Bain & Company, the management consulting company. What are they looking for in their candidates?

"It's not just about GPAs and Magna Cum Laudes.

"We're looking for all-rounders -- independent thinkers who thrive as part of a team.

"We recognise that everyone is different and everyone will bring their own unique experiences and perspectives to the team.

"Bain & Company have further identified four essential skills they look for in every prospective employee: problem solving, the ability to lead, results delivery and passion."


Excerpted with the permission of the publishers, Pan Macmillan India.

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